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Parks and Recreation

Parks and Recreation

The Portage Parks & Recreation Department provides year-round activities for the whole family, including fitness classes, softball, baseball, volleyball, basketball, martial arts, a dog park, a disc golf course, soccer and tennis. Plus, 15 city parks offer a variety of amenities, such as athletic fields and courts, spaces for picnicking and grilling, playground equipment, boat landings, nature walking and plenty of open play areas.

Having fun on the water is now a favorite year-round pastime for residents and visitors. Boaters hit the waters of the Wisconsin River and swimmers enjoy a day at Silver Lake Beach in Portage, which offers a wide, sandy beach with wading, swimming and diving opportunities for the whole family. While an indoor pool is located next to Rusch Elementary School at 117 W. Franklin Street, a new Splash Pad was recently built near Rusch Elementary at Goodyear Park for youngsters to cool off under the summer sun.

The most avid golfers will find all the challenge they need at several courses in the Portage area. You can try your luck at the 18-hole course at Portage Country Club or the nine-hole course at Pine Trail Golf Course at Saddle Ridge. These courses provide golf enthusiasts with hours of recreation.

The Ice Age Trail is one of eight Congressionally-designated National Scenic Trails located throughout the U.S. The trail meanders through 31 Wisconsin counties, along the terminal moraine left by a glacier over 10,000 years ago. The Heritage Trail Chapter in Columbia County maintains more than 12 miles, boasts 21 hand-built bridges and showcases the intersections of prairie, wetlands and waterways.

When the air turns chilly, skiers and boarders in Portage are lucky to have the highly rated Cascade Mountain, offering free skiing to kids 12 & under accompanied by a paid adult. Some of the 36 trails are steep and challenging to any skier, while others are over a mile long and fun for beginners. Getting to the top of the mountain is fast and easy with 10 lifts, including the high-speed quad Mountain Top Express chairlift.

Ice-skating is enjoyed on the pond in Pauquette Park, snowshoeing trails, with snowshoe rentals, are available at the site of the Historic Indian Agency Houses, and snowmobiling trails are available around the county. But, one has not really experienced winter in Portage until they have become familiar with the Scottish game of curling. Played on a level sheet of ice, the object is to “throw the stone” closest to the center of the “house target” on the opposite end of the rink. A broom is used to sweep the ice, in order to lessen resistance on the ice so the stone travels farther.


Blue Star Park – 2.3-acre wayside park located on Hwy 51 & Slifer St. Home of the Portage Veteran’s Memorial. Picnic tables and shelter.

Cattail Park – One-acre park located at Burns & Armstrong streets. Play area and softball backstop.

Collipp-Worden Park – 16.5-acre park located on Slifer St., two blocks west of Hwy 51. Two shelters, restrooms, two basketball courts, tennis court, sand volleyball, horseshoe pits, softball diamond, water, electricity, large playground with equipment, grills, picnic tables, disc golf course and ample parking.

Goodyear Park – 1.5-acre park located on the corner of DeWitt St. and MacFarlane Rd., along the school property. Two monuments are located here to honor those who served our country. Shelter, water, picnic tables, play equipment and large open play area. Splash Pad open Memorial Day through Labor Day.

Lincoln Park (2nd Ward Park) – One-acre park on Monroe St. and Howard St. Shelter, basketball court, picnic tables and play equipment.

Pauquette Park – 8.8-acre park located at the west entrance to Portage at W. Conant St. and Hwy 33. Named for Pierre Pauquette, a famous fur trader and translator for the French and Indians. Two shelters, restrooms, electricity, water, picnic tables, basketball court, band gazebo, play equipment, skating and fishing pond, flower gardens and walking path.

Pine Meadow Park – 4.5-acre park located on the north half of Hamilton St. Play equipment, lighted shelter, tennis court, softball diamond and soccer fields.

Riverside Park – 2.1-acre wayside park on E. Wisconsin St. next to the Wisconsin River Levee with a 2.8-mile walking/biking trail. Large open shelter, picnic tables and benches. The shelter was erected in 1924 and bears the slogan, "Where the North Begins."

Sanborn Park – 1.3-acre park located on the corner of Sanborn St. and Carroll St. Home of the second brickyard in Portage. Electricity, picnic tables, play equipment, boat landing and parking lot.

Silver Lake Beach Park & Beach – 2.5-acre park located on Silver Lake Dr. Lifeguards on duty Memorial Day to Labor Day. The park area has an open shelter, swimming area, changing house, water, electricity, picnic tables, cooking grills and play equipment.

Sunrise Park – 5-acre park located on South Hamilton St. Known as "The Gully,” the winter sledding site. Picnic tables, ball field, shelter, play equipment and a nature walking trail.

Sunset Park – 4.5-acre park located at Sunset and W. Pleasant. Two shelters, electricity, water, restrooms, sand volleyball, horseshoe pits, picnic tables, grill and play equipment.

Woodridge Park – 4.5-acre park located on Winnebago St. in the Oak Ridge subdivision. Shelter, water, electricity and play area.

Veteran’s Memorial Fields – 41.9-acre park located between Superior St. and Wauona Trail. Play equipment, restrooms. This park holds many of the city-wide celebrations and major softball and soccer tournaments. The Fritz Port Dog Park is also located within the complex adjacent to the Agriculture building. This park is open year round.

Gunderson Park – 0.5 acres located at the north end of Hamilton St. Play equipment and benches.

To reserve a park for your event, call the Portage Parks & Recreation Department at 608-742-2178.


Buffalo Lake – 2,210 acres; 8-foot depth; panfish, bass and pike. West of Hwy 22, Montello.


Crystal Lake – 27 acres;12-foot depth; panfish, bass and pike. County P, east of Pardeeville, approx. 1.5 miles to Pardeeville Road.

Lake Columbia – A man-made lake heated by the Alliant Energy generating plant. This lake stays ice-free and features year-round open water fishing; bass and catfish. Hwy 51 south to County V.

Lake George – 36 acres; 22-foot depth; panfish, bass and pike. County Hwy P, between Portage and Pardeeville.

Lake Mason – 885 acres; 9-foot depth; panfish, bass and pike. Hwy 127 to County Hwy AA in Briggsville, 12 miles from Portage.

Lake Wisconsin – 9,000 acres; 24-foot depth; panfish, bass, pike, walleye, muskie and sturgeon. I90/94 to County Hwy CS, exit at Poynette.

Park Lake – 312 acres; 27-foot depth; panfish, bass, pike and walleye. Between Hwy 44 and Hwy 22 in Pardeeville.

Silver Lake – 74 acres; 42-foot depth; panfish, bass, pike, walleye and muskie. Silver Lake Dr. off of Hwy 16 or Haertel St. off Hwy 51 in Portage.

Spring Lake – 24 acres; 8-foot depth; panfish, bass, pike and walleye. Just off Hwy 22 in Pardeeville.

Swan Lake – 406 acres; 82-foot depth; panfish, bass, pike, walleye, muskie and sturgeon. Off either Hwy 33 or County P, between Portage and Pardeeville.

Wisconsin River – Approx. 35 miles long, from Wisconsin Dells to Lake Wisconsin; accessible from Portage. The river has many sandbars and low water areas, so precaution is advised. Panfish, bass, pike, walleye, muskie and sturgeon available. A public access boat landing is located at the corner of Conant St. and Summit St. in Portage.

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